These new and upcoming young adult fiction titles open readers’ eyes to lives and experiences far beyond their own (and even beyond the grave!). Some you can pick up now, and others you can pre-order for your fall shelves, but once they’re in your hands, we bet you won’t be able to put them down.
Betty G. Yee
Growing up in 1860s China, Tam Ling Fan has lived a life of comfort. But Ling Fan’s life is upended when her brother dies of influenza and their father is imprisoned under false accusations. Hoping to earn the money that will secure her father’s release, Ling Fan disguises herself as a boy and takes her brother’s contract to work for the Central Pacific Railroad Company in America.
Life on “the Gold Mountain” is grueling and dangerous. To build the railroad that will connect the west coast to the east, Ling Fan and other Chinese laborers lay track and blast tunnels through the treacherous peaks of the Sierra Nevada, facing cave-ins, avalanches, and blizzards—along with hostility from white Americans.
When someone threatens to expose Ling Fan’s secret, she must take an even greater risk to save what’s left of her family . . . and to escape the Gold Mountain alive.
[star] “An exceptionally told story that will satisfy readers of history, mystery, and adventure while providing food for thought.”—starred, Booklist
Ayesha Harruna Attah
Twin sisters Hassana and Husseina have always shared their lives.
But after a raid on their village in 1892, the twins are torn apart. Taken in different directions, far from their home in rural West Africa, each sister finds freedom and a new start. Hassana settles in in the city of Accra, where she throws herself into working for political and social change. Husseina travels to Salvador, Brazil, where she becomes immersed in faith, worshipping spirits that bridge the motherland and the new world. Separated by an ocean, they forge new families, ward off dangers, and begin to truly know themselves.
As the twins pursue their separate paths, they remain connected through their shared dreams. But will they ever manage to find each other again?
“Uplifting . . . sizzles with sister-love and magic. What an incredible storyteller!”—Yaba Badoe, author of A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars
[star] “This sweeping story is rich in detail, and the settings are vividly evoked. . . . A successful exploration of rich cultural experiences and enduring familial connections.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews
Emma K. Ohland
Coming September 6, 2022!
Sixteen-year-old Georgia Richter feels conflicted about the funeral home her parents run—especially because she has the ability to summon ghosts.
With one touch of any body that passes through Richter Funeral Home, she can awaken the spirit of the departed. With one more touch, she makes the spirit disappear, to a fate that remains mysterious to Georgia. To cope with her deep anxiety about death, she does her best to fulfill the final wishes of the deceased whose ghosts she briefly revives.
Then her classmate Milo’s body arrives at Richter—and his spirit wants help with unfinished business, forcing Georgia to reckon with her relationship to grief and mortality.
“An extraordinary debut; an extraordinary new voice.”—Saundra Mitchell, author of All the Things We Do in the Dark
Coming November 1, 2022!
Seventeen-year-old Pavol has watched his country’s freedoms disappear in the wake of the Soviet Union’s invasion. He’s seen his own dreams disappear too. In a desperate, fatal act of protest against the oppressive new government, he sets himself on fire in public, hoping to motivate others to fight for change.
Instead, Pavol’s death launches a government investigation into three of his closest friends. Štěpán finds his Olympic hockey ambitions jeopardized and must conceal his sexual orientation from authorities who could use it against him. Tomáš has already been accused of “antisocial” behavior because he struggles to follow the unwritten rules of everyday interactions, and now he must work even harder to meet the expectations of his father, the regional leader of the communist party. And aspiring film director Lída, Pavol’s girlfriend, is pregnant with his child, which brands her a traitor by association and upends all her plans.
With their futures hanging in the balance, all three must decide whether to keep struggling to survive in the country Pavol died hoping to save . . . or risk a perilous escape to the other side.
“Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s Torch manages to accomplish the nearly impossible—a novel that is not only intensively researched and informative, but also riveting and deeply heartfelt. Readers will learn and care in equal measure.”—Cynthia Levinson, author of the Robert J. Sibert Medal-winning The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art